Family walk from Southampton to Portsmouth for Gosport cancer patient Rosie, age six
FAMILY members took part in a cross-county walk to raise money for a hospital ward close to their hearts.
Rosie McKelvey, who lives in Gosport, was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of cancer that would endanger her spine in the event of surgery.
Instead, the six-year-old has spent the past two years in and out of hospital for treatment.
To say thank you to staff members at the Piam Brown ward in Southampton General Hospital, Rosie’s family walked from Southampton to Portsmouth, raising money for the ward in the process.
So far, the family has raised more than £1,000, with more money set to come in.
Rosie’s aunt Rachel Rawlins came up with the idea of doing a sponsored walk.
The 28-year-old said: ‘I enjoy going for walks and wanted to give something back to the people who have been looking after Rosie.
‘There’s children from all over that come to this ward for cancer treatment, and they go above and beyond for these kids.’
Rosie joined her relatives for the final few miles, walking from the Toby Cavery in Hilsea to the finish line in Baffins.
The youngster’s optimism and positive outlook on life has been an inspiration to her family – and Rachel says she couldn’t be more proud of her.
‘She knew what we were walking for and was really keen to take part,’ she said.
‘Rosie was telling us how she would love to pay for new toys in the ward’s playroom and how she wants to buy lunch for all the nurses.
‘She’s so upbeat all the time – it really is inspiring.’
Rosie’s cancer was discovered when she fell over in a park.
The Bridgemary youngster is currently in recovery and will present a cheque with the final amount in person.
The group, which included Hannah and Caitlin Rawlins, took a roughly 20-mile route along the A27 towards Portsmouth.
Finishing by Baffins Pond, Rachel says more fundraisers could soon follow suit.
She has also thanked everyone who has donated to the family’s cause.
To donate to the family’s fundraiser for the Piam Brown ward, people can go to gofundme.com/f/help-caitlin-donate-to-rosies-piam-brown-ward.